Yesterday was the event we wait all year round for, the one that heralds in Spring. It's not the robins return, or the golf courses being open or even the blossoms of the cherry tree...but the Taste of Kelowna that signals Spring and awakens all our senses. True to form it was a gorgeous sunny day; not that it really mattered because we were indoors. I did have to go for a walk afterwards though to ward off all the food away from my hips!
For the past 3 years the girls and I have headed to the Taste of Kelowna event. It is put on by the BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association (BCRFA) and is in it's 19th year. The event moved from the Grand Okanagan Hotel to the curling club in 2007 to accommodate the ever increasing size of the crowds. Over 4,000 visitors attended last year.
Here you have the opportunity to try the largest selection of tapas on the planet!!!!! Food tastings are from Kelowna’s finest restaurants, wineries and breweries and offer more than 100 delicious dishes from over 30 booths including appetizers, entrees, desserts, wines, beers and great non-alcoholic drinks. Businesses are able to showcase what they have to offer at their restaurants as well as contribute to charity as well. It's a win win situation!!
Some of my favourite dishes this year were ; Grilled Lamb Pops with Asian Cashew Salad, Organic Celeriac Puree with Cheddar Crisp and S'more Mousse (pictured below).
This charity event raised over $140,000 last year. This year the net proceeds are awarded to the YMCA-YWCA Strong Kids Campaign, the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club and Kids Care which supports local community members in need of assistance. Visitors have a chance to vote for their favourite in the“Peoples Choice Award” with Summerhill Sunset Bistro and The Vintage Room the booths to beat from last year. Summerhill won again this year with their Pork Cheeks and Spaetzel and Carmeli's Goat's Milk and Meyer Lemon Pannacotta that sat on a thin layer of purple basil jelly (pictured above). You are able to contribute to a worthy cause but the added bonus is the wonderful food and beverage samplings from a wide variety of local businesses you may not have had the chance to visit.
Taste of Kelowna Participants for 2008 were:
BONFIRE RESTAURANT & BAR CAFÉ
CANNERY BREWING Co.
FREDDYS BREW PUB
MILL CREEK BREWERY
HANNA'S LOUNGE & GRILL
INFUSIONS @ OC
KETTLE VALLEY TAPAS BAR & GRILL
MOXIES CLASSIC GRILL
OKANAGAN CHEF'S ASSOCIATION
OUGHTRED COFFEE & TEA
SAL'S PRIME SHINE LOUNGE
SUMMERHILL SUNSET BISTRO
WILD APPLE GRILL@ MANTEO
16 Spice Chicken from my choice The Bonfire Restaurant.